The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Water is the source of life. Good, clean, flowing water is essential to daily living. With it we quench our thirst, irrigate our crops and cleanse ourselves. Water provides an environment for the many river and sea creatures which in turn provide food for us. With water, we live, grow and thrive. Without water, we perish.
One of the interesting stories in Scripture about water is the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well found in St. John’s Gospel in chapter four. Tired from a journey, Jesus stopped at that well for a drink of well water to quench his thirst. He asked a Samaritan woman who had come to draw water at the well to give him a drink of water.
She was amazed that Jesus, a Jew, would ask a Samaritan woman for water because Jews and Samaritans had been at odds for centuries. As the story unfolds, Jesus offered the woman “living water” for eternal life. She was so inspired by Jesus that she returned to her hometown and told her friends and neighbors about this Jesus who knew everything about her life. In essence, she became a bold witness to the Christ who offered this living water of salvation to all who believe in him.
My weekly comments are meant to give you a taste of “living water” based on the lectionary (Bible readings) for the Sundays of the church year. With the inspiration of the Holy Spirit working through Scripture and my writings, I pray that you like the woman at the well will tell others about the love and life that Christ offers.
My new book, Living Water – Devotions for Your Thirsty Soul, is now available at Westbow Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bible Gateway and at other bookstores.
About Pastor Gary Schimmer
Born in St. Louis, Missouri in the early 1950’s, I lived with my parents in an immigrant neighbor which began in the 1800s called Soulard. This neighborhood was a mix of immigrants mostly from Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Serbia, Croatia and Romania. Most of the residents were Catholics and there were some Lutherans. My father was Catholic and my mother was Lutheran and they decided that I would follow the teachings and practices of the Lutheran church. In fact, I attended Lutheran elementary and high schools.
I am a retired pastor in the Southeastern Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America having served congregations in the ELCA and its predecessor body for almost 40 years including congregations in Georgia, Alabama, Missouri and Tennessee.
After completing my studies for the ordained ministry, I married my wife, Priscilla who is from Georgia, and we have two grown children, Katie and Michael, who are both married. We have two grandchildren, both in college in North Carolina. Priscilla has a degree in interior design, had a business for interior decorating for many years, and is still interested in residential design.
I enjoy sports and cheer on the St. Louis Cardinals, the St. Louis Blues, and teams from the University of Missouri and Vanderbilt University.
I have a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and a master of divinity degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School. I did additional study in Christian spirituality at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.
In 2017 I self-published “Emmaus Road – Stories, Scripture, Has and Art for the Christian Journey.” “Emmaus Road” is a devotional book which has short stories about my congregational ministry and includes Bible verses, photos of art from the masters and hymn suggestions. It is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other book stores. (See the link below.) In 2020 I self-published another book, “Living Water – Devotions for Your Thirsty Soul” available from Westbow Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bible Gateway, Christian Book Distributions and other stores.
My wife and I now live in Nashville, Tennessee and are enjoying retirement.
The peace of the Lord be with you always.
(Photo of Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the Well, Jacob van Oost the Younger, 1668, public domain; the-athenaeum.org)